Celebrating Gay Manhoodby Raymond Rigoglioso on 10/16/15
In Gay Men and The New Way Forward, I explore how gay men are reinventing manhood. Yet I am often struck by how much gay men--myself included--feel outside of manhood. We have no concept of "gay manhood." Even these words sound odd together.
This feeling of being outside runs deep for gay men. And there are good reasons for it: we are men who occupy an in-between place. As the men in Powerful U are exploring, this enables us to have a profoundly beneficial impact on the people around us. We create changes in our daily life because we can easily straddle the masculine and feminine.
Yet so many of us have also been victimized by men, to the point where "manhood" sounds like something we want no part of. Frankly, depending on the context and place I'm in, the word "manhood" either sounds unappealing or deeply validating. If it's straight men talking about manhood, I'm usually turned off. If it's gay men talking about honoring this part of ourselves, I'm intrigued.
One of the reasons I have always felt ambivalent about the men's movement or men's personal growth programs is the heterosexual model implicit in them. For these ideas or experiences to fit us, we must either work to see ourselves reflected, or we must modify the heterosexual men's model upon which they are based. That has always struck me as backwards.
I wanted to create a men's program that honors and reflects who we are from the ground up. Part of the motivation is to ensure the experience fully applies to gay men. But larger than that, I believe that the way we embody manhood holds wisdom for all men. Certainly, the prevailing model isn't working all that well.
When we stand tall in how we embody manhood, we can help all men discover what it means to be men. Just as we are leading humanity to choose love over hate, gay men may be the ones who rescue manhood for all men.
The Celebrating Gay Manhood weekend program, which I will give at Easton Mountain from November 13-15, will help you:
- Identify and claim manhood on your own terms
- See how your gift of Masculine-Feminine Intelligence enables you to have an effective, distinct impact in your personal and professional life
- Identify how the authentic masculine lives within you
- See your Gentle, Collaborative Social Orientation in action
We'll go deep in this exploration, with a ritual that helps you release the messages you've received about manhood, threats you've experienced, and fears you've developed of men as a result. Because personal responsibility is key to the authentic masculine, you'll explore how your wounding affects your relationships with other gay men.
We'll conclude with a session that helps you see how you embody Sustainable Manhood. And we'll identify how each of us can create more loving relationships with other gay men.
Celebrating Gay Manhood will challenge and reward you. It will help you claim and honor how you are a man, and how you serve as a model of manhood for all men.
To register, please visit the Easton Mountain website. I hope to see some of you there next month.